Wisconsin Football: Winners & Losers from the Week 6 Game vs. Illinois
The Wisconsin Badgers are coming off their biggest win of the season after defeating Illinois handily, 31-14. The entire team played well, with the offense in particular looking very sharp.
Here's a look at the winners and losers from the Wisconsin win against Illinois.
Winner: Montee Ball
Montee Ball has finally returned to form.
The Badgers' star running back looked like his Heisman finalist self, running all over the Illinois defense for 116 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, Ball averaged over six yards per carry, adding an explosive element to the rushing attack.
With the Badgers continuing into Big Ten play, this is great timing for Ball to return to form.
Winner: James White
Montee Ball had a monster day, but James White wasn't far behind.
The Badger backup ran six times for 42 yards and chipped in a 60-yard touchdown reception as well. White won't receive the bulk of the carries, but his explosive ability provides a nice complement to Ball. Wisconsin needs White's big-play ability to open up the offense.
Winner: Jared Abbrederis
Jared Abbrederis is clearly the Badgers' best receiver, posting his third straight 100-yard receiving game against Illinois by finishing with a 117 yards. The star receiver continues to make big plays, hauling in a 59-yard score to put the game away.
Abbrederis is the key to the Badgers passing offense, and his steady play has been exactly what Joel Stave has needed.
Winner: Kyle French
Coming into the Illinois game, Wisconsin was in the midst of a kicker competition as both Kyle French and Jack Russell had struggled. However, French locked down the starting spot following his game against Illinois. The redshirt sophomore went four-of-four on extra points and also converted his only field goal attempt.
Kyle French was a definite winner against Illinois.
Winner: Joel Stave
Joel Stave continues to impress. The redshirt sophomore had another solid game, finishing with 254 yards and two touchdowns. More importantly, Stave had the offense firing on all cylinders as he spread the ball around to multiple receivers. Stave did throw an interception, but it was after the coaching staff decided to give Curt Phillips a couple of plays and ruined the drive's rhythm.
Joel Stave locked down the starting spot against Illinois.
Loser: Backup Quarterbacks
Danny O'Brien and Curt Phillips are the only losers from the Badgers' win against Illinois. Stave's solid play has ensured his position as the starting quarterback moving forward. Curt Phillips was given the opportunity to impress, but his series was a mess, and Danny O'Brien won't see time barring injury. O'Brien and Phillips are now clearly the backups.
The Badgers' win over Illinois was the offense's best showing of the season. Montee Ball and James White had the rushing attack in top form, while Joel Stave and Jared Abbrederis stretched the defense through the air. This Wisconsin win was exactly what the Badgers needed to get back on track in the Big Ten.